Landscape and Seascape: The dry and mangrove forests, wetlands, and marine and coastal areas of the Atsimo-Andrefana region include the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve and several new protected areas, giving it great potential to become a prime tourist destination. It is home to many types of plants and animals including lemurs, birds, sea turtles and terrestrial tortoises, which are in critically threatened due to collection for the pet trade. Moreover, its seascape of marine protected areas and bays (Salary Bay, St. Augustin Bay and others) provides important resources and ecosystem services to the local population, including mangrove forests that supply food, wood and protection against cyclones, thus making local communities more resilient to climate change; marine areas that provide fish and other seafood species; wetlands that regulate water supplies; and dry forests that offer a range of natural resources and carbon sequestration values. Important biodiversity includes 185 species of fish including the endangered humphead wrasse, 321 coral species, and the critically-endangered
hawksbill turtle and spider tortoise. Main threats are destructive fishing practices, overfishing, unsustainable mangrove exploitation, hunting, poaching, unsustainable use of non-timber forest products, and charcoal production. This region is home to the highest deforestation rates in the country.
USAID will assess offers on the quality of choices for site-based implementation within the two priority zones chosen by the offeror based on the offeror’s responses to the following criteria: